A MEETING OF FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE CENTRAL ASIAN COUNTRIES AND THE OSCE SECRETARY GENERAL WAS HELD IN ASHGABAT
On October 31, 2023, a meeting of the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the heads Foreign Ministries of the Central Asian states was held in the the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, during which a thorough exchange of views took place on the most important topics of regional security, sustainable development and stability. Particular attention of the participants was paid to border security, climate change and ecology, as well as transport links.
Speaking at the meeting, OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid noted that this forum is aimed at expanding and strengthening interaction in solving pressing problems in the region in each of the above dimensions. In this context, the need for joint activities of all Central Asian countries and relevant international structures was emphasized. At the same time, the important role of projects and measures provided by the OSCE in this process was outlined.
During the meeting, the Ministers exchanged views on specific issues and objectives of cooperation, described the steps taken by each of the Central Asian states in these areas, and also came up with a number of important ideas and proposals aimed at consolidating efforts to ensure regional security and stability.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R. Meredov during his speech emphasized that reliable border security is the basis for maintaining peace and prosperity in the region.
As part of the discussion of climate change and environmental issues, the participants also expressed a common opinion on the need to take joint measures to interact in this direction.
The Turkmen side emphasized that environmental safety remains a priority area of international cooperation of our state, first of all, this concerns project activities on rational environmental management and sustainable management of water resources. In this regard, R.Meredov noted the importance of the practical implementation of the proposal of the Turkmen side to develop a draft OSCE Comprehensive Environmental Program.
The minister also called on the meeting participants to support Turkmenistan’s idea of establishing a specialized structure - the Regional Center for Climate Technologies. In this regard, it was proposed to hold the OSCE Forum on Climate Change Technologies.
Turkmenistan also advocates promoting the initiative of the OSCE Secretary General to hold regular meetings with the ministers for environmental protection of Central Asian countries. As is known, the first such meeting within the framework of the Climate Conference in July of this year showed that this format is timely and in demand. In this regard, the Turkmen side expressed its readiness to host the next meeting of this format in 2024 in Turkmenistan.
Another pressing issue on the agenda was strengthening cooperation in a key segment of global development - sustainable transport. The participants noted the wide opportunities for consolidated actions in this direction, first of all, this concerns issues of stimulating transport links along the East-West routes.
The Turkmen side drew special attention of the participants to the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan to create a Central Asian transport and logistics platform, voiced at the fifth Consultative Meeting of the Leaders of Central Asian Countries in September this year in Dushanbe, which will allow optimizing routes and procedures, accelerating the transportation of goods and passengers. With this in mind, it is proposed to use the potential of the OSCE in the implementation of this idea, which is promising for the entire region.
The meeting participants expressed their readiness to continue an active and constructive dialogue on issues of ensuring sustainable and safe development in the region.